Fodor's Expert Review Luana Waikiki

2045 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815, USA

At the entrance to Waikiki near Fort DeRussy is this welcoming hotel offering both rooms and condominium units. Now managed by Aqua Hospitality, the hotel's two-story lobby is appointed in rich, Hawaiian-wood furnishings with Island-inspired fabrics, along with a mezzanine lounge as comfortable as any living room back home. Units are furnished with the same mix of rich woods with etched accents of pineapples and palm trees. The recreational deck features a fitness center, pool with sundeck, and barbecue area with tables and two gas grills that can be enclosed cabana-style for privacy when dining outdoors; shops and restaurants are a short walk away. One-bedroom suites each have two lanai. The hotel also has a coin-operated laundry room. Three days per week the hotel hosts a Manager's Reception (4–5 pm) with free wine and cheese on the terrace. If you like Hawaiiana and appreciate a bit of kitsch, this is a great option.


Luana’s room options range in size and views, some with microwaves and mini fridges, some with kitchenettes, and still others with full kitchens. Most studios and suites are 340 sq feet, with some of the larger suites ranging from 647 to 900 sq feet. Each has a private lanai, air conditioning, and coffee maker. Furnishing, linens, and decor are a bit old fashioned.


Small bathrooms have marble vanities with shower/tub combos and signature toiletries.


The lobby at Luana has a sense of grandeur to it, even if its furnishings look a bit outdated. It’s accented by glass cases filled with Hawaiian artifacts, with other artifacts scattered about. There’s also a mezzanine level with plenty of furniture for lounging.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Valet is your only parking option, and the fee is a bit steep at $35. Look for nearby public parking options at a better rate.


The hotel’s heated pool with sundeck is a nice attraction. It’s triangular and chic, with plenty of loungers and a shaded area.


The fitness center is a nice size, with cardio and weight machines and free weights. Additional fitness options include free yoga classes four days per week and beach cruiser bikes available to check out.


Right near the entrance to Luana Waikiki guests will find a casual eatery open for breakfast and lunch. The island cuisine at Fish Hook Cafe includes poke bowls, lomi salmon, kalua pig, and more, along with grab & go items like sandwiches, soups, and salads. They’ve also got an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet that changes daily based on what’s available locally.

Be sure to take advantage of the $10 daily credit at Fish Hook Cafe or Fish Bowl Buffet. It’s good food and helps you get some of your daily amenity fee back.


Though there is no on-site bar, guests can enjoy a free drink and meet new people at the manager’s reception every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.


Getting Around

Waikiki and surrounding areas are easily reachable from the airport by cab or rideshare. There is plenty to do in these areas without ever leaving (walking, biking, taking the bus, or hailing a car), so a rental car is only necessary if you want to explore other parts of the island.


Without exaggeration, you will likely have the best omelet of your life at The Original Pancake House (7-min drive). Fluffy, huge, and stuffed with some unique items, they’re nothing if not memorable – and so is the décor. This strip mall offering sees Europe meet the Pacific at this German-styled restaurant with Portland roots and Hawaiian favorites like Spam and eggs and macadamia nut pancakes on the menu. They also brew up a damn fine cup of coffee.

If you’re looking for some hearty Korean BBQ or stews, Sorabol (8-min drive) is a great option for classic Korean food, along with an extensive sushi menu. They’re especially great night for some late-night indulging, as they stay open until 1 a.m. during the week and all night on the weekend.


Even if you’re not staying at The Modern, you’ll want to sneak behind the bookcases in their lobby to grab a drink at The Study (11-min walk). It may look small from the outside, but this bar with yummy cocktails, incredible live music that gives way to a DJ, and diverse crowd is large and inviting. Alas, you will definitely not get any studying done.

Though MAC 24/7 (5-min drive) is definitely a great place to grab a meal, especially breakfast, it’s their cocktails that we really love. Last call is at 3:30 a.m., so you can enjoy a nightcap with your late-night pancakes before heading back to your hotel. Fruity cocktails like the Frozen Mo’o and Lava Lava Rocks fill that island cocktails craving. They also have a great reverse happy hour from midnight to 3 a.m. (except Friday and Saturday), as well as a regular daily happy hour from 2 to 5 p.m.


This condo-hotel makes a great choice for groups, with good pricing and lots of space and a wide variety of options for room sizes and combinations to meet the needs of a variety of groups. It has a good check in time of 3 p.m. and check out time of 12 p.m. Though there is a $25 daily amenity fee, the hotel offers quite a few perks to make that worth it.


Near the beach
Local Flavor


Phones: 808-955–6000;866-940–2782;808-441–7774

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